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Jamnagar fire may ignite LPG shortage, drive up prices

Fire at the Jamnagar facility could result in a shortage and drive up prices for LPG in India.

November 2, 2006

Bad news for housewives! Itís all ablaze at the Reliance Industries' refinery in Jamnagar. The consequence could be that the country might reel under an acute LPG shortage. 

According t reports, on Wednesday a fire mishap damaged a secondary unit at the Jamnagar facility, which could lead to a shortage of about 1,00,000 tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas. 

Though the Reliance Industries top brass has tried to cushion the impact saying that the fire would not affect operations at the country's largest refining facility, the government sources have said there was a likelihood of about 1,00,000 tonnes of LPG shortage. The government plans to bridge the gap through imports. 

It is learnt that Reliance Industries has informed the government that two crude distillation units will continue operating normally and only the secondary processing units would have to be shut for 10 days. The fire accident is believed to have been caused due to a faulty valve. One Reliance staffer has been seriously hurt in the mishap. 

Meanwhile, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has been advised to arrange for LPG import to meet the shortfall arising from the mishap. 

Reporting the situation at the accident site in Jamnagar, the Reliance officials said that the fire was brought under control by Reliance Plant and fire fighting personnel in less than two hours time. The magnitude of the damage suffered is being assessed. 

Soon after the reports of the mishap came in Petroleum Minister Murli Deora held talks with Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani. It is learnt that Ambani has assured Deora that there would be no loss of production on account of the fire. 

At the spot of the mishap, people have been evacuated and inflow of crude to all sections of the refinery has been cut off .


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